Residents have overwhelmingly voted in favour of a new pool being located on the former Minsthorpe Pool site in South Elmsall.
More than 60 per cent of 346 people who completed a survey by the Minsthorpe Pool Action Group (MPAG) want the proposed new facility to remain on Ash Grove.
The action group has backed the public’s decision and is calling on Wakefield Council to listen to the consultation results.
The second favourite decision (22.8 per cent) was for the pool to be located on and managed by Minsthorpe Community College.
As well as the survey, members of the action group have held talks with Wakefield Council, town and parish councils, the college, Hemsworth MP Jon Trickett and other local groups.
Andy Picken, group spokesman, said: “Although a decision has not been confirmed, early indications show that option one (the Ash Grove location) is not a preferred site by Wakefield Council.
“We have concerns that include the cost of pool use, accessibility, particularly if the new facility is built on a college or academy site, and the future of the existing site.
“We feel the original site has the necessary infrastructure already in place in relation to parking, accessibility by public transport and space around the site. This option would be a true ‘community facility’ resolving any issues around accessing the facility if it is built on college grounds.
“We have also noted the concerns people raised around traffic congestion, which currently exists near our schools and colleges, and the additional traffic volume a new leisure facility would generate around them, impacting on pedestrian safety and traffic movement.”
Ray Henshaw, principal of Minsthorpe Community College, said fears about accessibility could be allayed with a legally-binding service level agreement (SLA) guaranteeing community access.
He said: “In my opinion it will cost far more to build a wet and dry centre on the existing pool site than to add the pool to the existing sports centre at the college. Before 9am, after 2.30pm and at weekends there will be no issue and the sports centre is open 50-52 weeks of the year. A hydraulic floor will allow lane swimming to take place when the pool is used by schools during the day, so I have no doubt that the facility can be shared and all sides benefit from the arrangement.”
Visit www.wakefield.gov.uk/leisureconsultation to take part in the consultation process.
For more information or to support MPAG, visit http://saveminsthorpepool.webs.com/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org MPAG is also on Facebook (Save Minsthorpe Baths) and Twitter (@SaveMinsthorpe).